This week was our training week on the website Submittable.com. This is the website that student authors will use to submit their pieces of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art to the Greyrock Review for consideration. Submissions are open from October 3 to December 16, so students have plenty of time to collect their favorite works and determine the best ones to send in. This week contained one of the most practical class periods we’ve had so far because Kristin provided us with real, on-the-job training that we’ll be using throughout the year — and probably in our careers in the publishing industry, because Submittable is widely used by publications that take submissions — and working closely with throughout the process of creating Greyrock.
Submittable is a very user-friendly site that allows multiple people to login, view all the submissions that have been sent in, vote on submissions that we enjoy and would consider for publication, and send pieces on to other interns to consider. The guidelines for submission are provided for each genre and students can send their pieces in, along with a cover letter. However, we have decided that it would be the most fair if we kept submissions blind throughout the review process. A blind review means that while the interns read through and vote on submissions, they will not be able to see the author’s name or cover letter until finalists are chosen.
Kristin also gave us a small homework assignment: For Submittable practice, we will each be creating our own Submittable account, submitting a piece to our section of Greyrock (I’ll just choose one since I don’t have an assigned section), and going through the same process we’ll be using for submissions throughout the year. Associate editors will be either denying or voting for submissions first and sending on approved submissions to genre editors, genre editors will do the same, and the submissions that have two votes will go to me (the managing editor), who will present the options for the whole team to officially vote on together. When we do this with actual student submissions, we will eventually get to a solid list of pieces we want to publish in our finalized Greyrock Review at the end of the school year.
This whole process has been quite eye-opening to me. We’re finally getting into the real training that we’ll be using for collecting and choosing submissions for our completed Greyrock masterpiece. I’ve been finding that while I’m so eager to get started with the real student submissions and producing a publication, an internship is really about the learning process and not the final product. While these training sessions might seem a bit tedious and not always ideal for me, I know that this is incredibly valuable information that I should be taking in and considering more closely than I have been.
The Greyrock learning process has certainly been fun to go through and keep track of — personally and through this thesis project — and should be something I’m recording, observing, and memorizing for the publication of this litmag and any literary journal I might work with in the future, because the submission process is universal, even if the Submittable website is not. I know that I need to enjoy this process and observe as much as possible throughout this semester, because I’m not only taking notes for my future in the publishing industry, but I’m also recording the culture of the Greyrock Review and my own impact on the literary journal this year. My impact has been clear in the past few weeks — other interns have been building off of my enthusiasm, and if I shirk my own learning responsibilities in these preliminary training sessions, I could change the culture of the entire journal.
Clearly, my eagerness to get started with the creation of the Greyrock Review is a bias that I need to keep track of and keep in check, because I need to learn the process before any of my team members (including myself) can begin the production of our final journal. I’m realizing this week that that’s where the value of an internship in the publishing industry lies — in the learning process. We can’t dive right into the creation of a litmag until we get the foundations first. I believe that if I really take the time to step back and allow myself to learn and train for this internship, I will be much more prepared for my future career. I should enjoy the learning process while I can, because my future employers won’t provide me with time for the learning curve to kick in, and I know that I can take this knowledge into my future career in publishing.